Tag Archives: pronoun antecedent

The enigmatic grammatical status of “I love you” in Corsican language

Translating ‘I love you’ might sound trivial, but it’s not. In fact, ‘ti amu‘ is not the best translation. The best translation is ‘ti tengu caru‘ when addressed to a male person, or ‘ti tengu cara‘ when addressed to a female person. Hence the proposed translation ‘ti tengu caru/cara‘, whose (difficult) disambiguation must be done according to the context.

It is worth sketching a few ideas, in order to get some insight into this issue. First of all, let’s look at the problem synthetically. This underlines the problem inherent in the grammatical status of the sentence ‘je t’aime’ (I love you) in French or in English, as it is not known whether it is addressed to a male or a female person. If one were to assign a gender to this sentence, it would therefore be masculine or feminine, with an inherent ambiguity. Assigning in some way a gender – masculine or feminine – to a sentence may seem strange prima facie, but it could prove useful (to be confirmed) In this case, the gender associated with the sentence would be inherited from the pronoun ‘t’ (short for ‘te’) which remains unambiguated with the sentence ‘je t’aime’ (I love you, ti tengu caru/cara) alone.

Second, let’s look at the issue from an analytical perspective. For another way to solve the problem could be to assign a reference to the pronoun ‘te’ (you). The latter could be identified according to the context. This sounds more promising and more in line with the well-known problem of pronoun resolution.